Bill calls to postpone minimum wage for expatriates indefinitely

Migrant workers wear face masks to protect against the spread of COVID-19 as they supply products to shops in Male' City on May 14, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

A bill was submitted to the Parliament on Wednesday that called to postpone granting minimum wage to expatriates working in Maldives indefinitely.

The bill referred to the current economic status of Maldives, and submitted the amendment to the Employment Act of Maldives.

Parliamentarian for South Kulhudhuffushi constituency MP Jamsheed made the submission on behalf of the government.

The government had declared and revealed figures for minimum wage in November 2021 and began officially implanting it in January 2022.

The minimum wage was set at four different levels. This set the minimum wage for small businesses at MVR 4,500, the minimum wage for medium businesses at MVR 7,000, and the minimum wage for large businesses at MVR 8,000. 

Amendment to the Employment Act at the time granted a year to draft a regulation on which minimum wage for expatriates will be based.

However, this new submission called to postpone setting a minimum wage for expatriates indefinitely.

Transparency Maldives had previously said that the lack of a set amount for expatriates also impacts Maldivian employees.

They also noted that this further enables the existing discrimination of expatriate employees, causes them to lose their rights and is a great injustice to them.

Furthermore, it enhances the problem to human trafficking in Maldives as a result.